Paper  |   December 2009
Screening for Hearing Loss in the Elderly Using Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions, Pure Tones, and a Self-Assessment Tool
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tina Jupiter
    St. John’s University, Jamaica, NY, and Long Island AuD Consortium
  • Contact author: Tina Jupiter, St. John’s University, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, NY 11439. E-mail: jupitert@stjohns.edu.
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging
Paper   |   December 2009
Screening for Hearing Loss in the Elderly Using Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions, Pure Tones, and a Self-Assessment Tool
American Journal of Audiology December 2009, Vol.18, 99-107. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2009/08-0020)
History: Accepted 22 Apr 2009 , Received 14 Jul 2008 , Revised 06 Nov 2008
American Journal of Audiology December 2009, Vol.18, 99-107. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2009/08-0020)
History: Accepted 22 Apr 2009 , Received 14 Jul 2008 , Revised 06 Nov 2008

Purpose: To determine whether distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) could be used as a hearing screening tool with elderly individuals living independently, and to compare the utility of different screening protocols: (a) 3 pure-tone screening protocols consisting of 30 dB HL at 1, 2, and 3 kHz; 40 dB HL at 1, 2, and 3 kHz; or 40 dB HL at 1 and 2 kHz; (b) the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly—Screening version (HHIE–S); (c) pure tones at 40 dB HL at 1 and 2 kHz plus the HHIE–S; and (d) DPOAEs.

Method: A total of 106 elderly individuals age 65–91 years were screened using the above protocols.

Results: Pass/fail results showed that most individuals failed at 30 dB HL, followed by DPOAEs, the 40-dB HL protocols, the HHIE–S alone, and the combined pure-tone/HHIE–S protocol. All screening results were associated except the HHIE–S and 30 dB HL and the HHIE–S and DPOAEs. A McNemar analysis revealed that the differences between the correlated pass/fail results were significant except for the HHIE–S and 40 dB at 1 and 2 kHz.

Conclusion: DPOAEs can be used to screen the elderly, with the advantage that individuals do not have to voluntarily respond to the test.

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